General Election Jitters
The Creative Industries Federation – the national organisation for the creative industries, cultural education and the arts – issued its General Election Statement on the 9th June.
John Kampfner, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “Today’s result raises concerns about the political stability of the UK in the short term. One thing is beyond doubt, however: Theresa May has seen that there is no clear mandate for the government to negotiate a hard Brexit.
“Federation members were 96 per cent in favour of remaining in the EU when surveyed before the referendum. They saw Brexit is a threat to the continued success of the creative industries, damaging growth and the UK’s global outlook. This general election vote now offers the opportunity to look at the issue again.
“The Federation will push for the UK to remain in the single market and the customs union and against undue restrictions on free movement, which we know will damage the capacity of the creative industries to deliver. Non-UK EU nationals are an important part of the creative economy.
“As we noted in our statement yesterday morning, as voters went to the polls, the Federation will work tirelessly to hold the new government, whatever shape it takes, to account.
“We will continue to advocate policies that maintain the UK creative industries’ competitive advantage and keep the nation outward-looking and international. It remains vital we secure the best possible deal for the sector during what will be a turbulent period of political and constitutional change.”
In subsequent remarks, a spokesman went on to criticise the ‘downgrading’ of the importance of the arts and the creative industries. Arts and culture have been separated from the creative industries in a restructure of ministerial responsibilities at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). With former Culture and Digital Minister Matt Hancock’s remit slimmed to Digital, encompassing the creative industries, broadcasting and media, while arts and culture will now fall alongside heritage and tourism under the remit of Salisbury MP and first-time Minister John Glen. He will also take responsibility for public libraries, museums and the National Archives.
A CIF spokesperson is reported as saying: “The new ministerial titles and job descriptions at DCMS appear to downgrade the importance of the arts and creative industries and send a wrong signal about their importance.
“The creative industries are the fastest growing sector of the economy. The sector is generating jobs at three times the rate of employment in general.”
The spokesperson continued: “In terms of Britain’s global renown in the creative sector, there is no distinction between the publicly supported arts and commercial business.
“Policy-making should recognise that. Billions of pounds of revenues and our international success is built on both.”
It remains unclear what the changes will mean for the arts and culture in wider government policy, such as the upcoming industrial strategy, which cabinet ministers promised to put creative industries “at the heart” of.